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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Aug 8, 2010 2:32pm
Forum: texts Subject: Emergency Petition to Google: Don't be evil


dead-head_Monte-Google_net_neutrality.jpg

Emergency Petition to Google
— Don't be evil —

This week the New York Times reported that Google is days away from announcing a deal with Verizon that would end Net Neutrality, and the free and open Internet, as we know it.

Data exchange on the internet is called TCP/IP. This stands for Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP).

Net Neutrality means all data exchange within the TCP/IP universe will be uniform, homogeneous, and non-discriminatory. All data travels equally fast on the internet. No toll booths, no toll lanes, no speed-ups, and no slowdowns. All data packets must be treated equally.

I posted on GD music Forum about this the other day. If I'm accused of rubbing this in your faces, I would be guilty of that. What does the end of Net Neutrality mean to you? If we lose Net Neutrality, you can "kiss goodbye free downloading music, free streaming music, free viewing images, movies, and texts on The Internet Archive forever!" The only thing you will be getting "for free" are ads, spam, phishing, spy-bots, propaganda items, lies, and bullshit 24/7! Just take a moment and check it out.

We can't let big corporations take control of the Internet. Please sign this letter to Google pressuring them to back out of this deal:

Dear Google,

As a Google user, I am telling you, 'Don't be evil.' The deal between Google and Verizon as reported by the New York Times is evil, because it threatens the open Internet, which hundreds of millions of people rely on every day. Live up to your founding motto, walk away from this deal and save the Internet.

Sincerely,
[Add your name]


I just signed the letter. Below is my personal letter to Google that I added:

Net Neutrality must prevail forever. The "internet" is OUR INTERNET. It is a democracy that is heavily peer-reviewed. It matters NOT who owns and maintains some of the internet's plumbing at any given time. This means all of us MUST be watching out for the preservation of our Net Neutrality on the internet. We must fight against the implementation of internet toll booths and extra fees. This will be our demise on the internet.

Access to any and all IPs, and their content, must remain equally free, equally unfettered, equally toll-free, and equally accessible to anyone and everyone, FOREVER!

The internet is not owned by Google, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, General Electric, Microsoft, AT&T, or any other corporations or individuals.

The internet is owned, operated, and run by The People of The World.

Google - do not be evil. Get over it. You're just an itty-bitty player. There are nearly 7 billion people on our planet. It is called Earth. Earth has been around 4.5 billion years. Do not come around here now, and pull your EVIL lies and greedy misdeeds on me. Do you think you "own the Democracy" here on planet Earth? We only have a little bit of democracy left in the U.S.A. right now.

Destroying Net Neutrality, during the unprecedented onset of Fascism in America - while our Free Press, as we know it, has gone down the toilet - is a despicable crime against humanity! Shame on you Google Corporation!

Google is not the only evil corporation planning to take over the People's Internet by destroying Net Neutrality. Put these people in prison where they belong.

peace,
Monte Barry


This was on Democracy Now's newshour - August 6, 2010. We are reaching the "critical-mass point" on Net Neutrality. If we lose Net Neutrality, you can "kiss free downloading and free streaming goodbye!"

Verizon & Google Enter Reported Deal for Tiered Internet Use, Is Net Neutrality in Jeopardy?

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JUAN GONZALEZ: We begin today with news about the reported deal between internet and telecom giants Google and Verizon that many fear could spell the end of the internet as we know it. The two corporations were reported to have reached an agreement to impose a tiered system for accessing the internet. The deal would enable Verizon to charge for quicker access to online content over wireless devices, a violation of the concept of net neutrality that calls for equal access to all services.

Both firms denied they were close to an agreement that would lead to a, quote, "two-tier internet." In statements, both Google and Verizon reiterated their commitment to an open internet.

AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission has called off its closed-door negotiations with major telecom giants on crafting these new regulations and pledged to seek broader input. FCC Chair Julius Genachowski said, quote, "Any outcome, any deal that doesn’t preserve the freedom and openness of the internet for consumers and entrepreneurs will be unacceptable."

Well, for more on this story, we’re joined from Chicopee, Massachusetts, by Josh Silver, the executive director of Free Press, [freepress.net], a national media reform organization.

Josh, welcome to Democracy Now!

JOSH SILVER: Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: What are your major concerns, and what’s the latest you’ve heard on this reported deal?

JOSH SILVER: Well, before I answer that question, I want to back up a little bit and get to this idea of net neutrality, which so many Americans, so many viewers and listeners to your show, probably think, well, that maybe — that’s just for geeks. The reason net neutrality matters — it’s been the law of the land for the internet since it was created about forty years ago — this is the principle that says all content on the web travels at the same speed, whether it’s ABC News sending it or it’s Democracy Now! or it’s your cousin’s wedding video. And the key there is understanding that as internet speed increases, then we’re going to see all media — television, radio, phone service, emerging technologies—all delivered through an internet connection. Any website could become a television network or a radio network. It’s a complete game changer that breaks open access and distribution of media content. So, when we have the changes in policy deals like the Google-Verizon deal that we’re going to talk about today, this is going to have a profound effect over whether that revolutionary sort of opportunity is realized or whether it’s going to be squandered.

Now, with the Google-Verizon deal, there is an interesting backdrop to all this. First of all, the United States is slipping perilously behind other nations in internet speed and adoption. We’ve gone from fourth to twenty-second in the last ten years, because of failed hands-off policies, the same kind of policies that led us into the financial crisis, same kind of policies that led to the Gulf of Mexico spill, sort of, you know, government saying, "Go ahead, industry. Do whatever you want." And guess what? Consumers get the bad side of the deal.

In April of this year, an astounding thing happened. Because of moves made by the Bush FCC, the current Federal Communications Commission was stripped of all authority to regulate the internet, to regulate—or not just the internet, but the internet service providers — a key distinction. They are no longer able to say, "Hey, Verizon, hey, AT&T, that’s not fair. You can’t price gouge consumers. You can’t indiscriminately block content." And that comes in the backdrop of a president who had said during the campaign, President Obama, "I am a fierce advocate of net neutrality," and then he appointed an FCC chairman, the current chairman, Julius Genachowski, as you mentioned, an avowed net neutrality supporter. But then things got — started to get really strange. Over the past couple of months, Chairman Genachowski pulled industry leaders into his offices, no public interest groups, and said, "I’m not going to make a move to reassert my agency’s authority, even though that would be an easy thing for me to do. Instead, I’m going to ask you industry players to broker a deal and try to create a compromise that we can all live with. And I’m not going to worry so much about the public interest groups." At least, that’s how it felt from here.

And so, now we’re in this strange limbo where the FCC chairman is sitting on his hands. He’s not reasserting the authority of his agency that’s needed to protect net neutrality and bring competition and drive down prices and get universal broadband to every American. And we’ve got Google and Verizon, who, amidst this, announced a deal unexpectedly this week — there had been rumors of it, certainly didn’t think it was going to happen so quickly — a deal that would essentially say, "OK, it’s going to be alright if we actually block or slow down content in the wireless space. And in the wired connections to the home or to businesses, we can sort of have something called 'managed services,' which lets us slow and discriminate content as we see fit." And part of what’s so remarkable about this, Google, for the last five years, during this epic battle over net neutrality, Google has sided with the public interest groups and with other internet companies like Skype and Verizon — or, excuse me, Skype and Amazon and eBay and others to support net neutrality and support consumers. So, them, this giant elephant —

JUAN GONZALEZ: Josh, I just want to interrupt for one second. Before we get to the Google-Verizon deal, I want to backtrack a little bit to the net neutrality issue, as you defined it. The argument of the telecom companies has obviously been — and the cable companies — "Hey, these are our pipes. Why shouldn’t the people who hog more bandwidth and use up more of the bandwidth on our pipes be charged more for what they do?"

JOSH SILVER: Well, here’s the problem, Juan. In the United States, we have an incredibly uncompetitive market. And as a result, we pay— the American consumer pays — far more money, orders of magnitude more money, for much slower service than in countries like Denmark or Japan or France or England. And so, what we’ve got is an uncompetitive market with two or fewer internet service providers in 97, 98 percent of markets across the country. And so, consumers don’t have choices. So if, let’s say, that your Verizon provider is blocking or slowing down traffic, and you don’t like it, you don’t really have a choice. That’s problem number one. Number two, you know, losing net neutrality then allows these companies to prioritize some traffic — video, say — and de-prioritize others, and then what effectively happens is the internet becomes like cable television, where Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner Cable decide what’s fast, what’s — how much it costs, and who’s slow. And you suddenly have the exact same problem we have with cable, with lack of access and distribution for regular people.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Now, do you think there may have been some naïveté or errors on the part of the consumer advocates in this alliance that’s been in existence now for several years, with companies like Google and the eBays of the world, that there was a sense that they would stick up for the right thing on the issue of net neutrality, but now that it’s become — the proper price that they like has apparently been offered by Verizon, they’re now willing to desert the advocates and move over to a deal with the telecom companies?

JOSH SILVER: No, I think, at the time, it certainly was a smart tactical decision. Remember, we had a presidential candidate in Obama that literally said, "I will take a backseat to no one for net neutrality." Those are strong words. And suddenly we have all these powerful industry players echoing that sentiment and agreeing specific — with the identical policy that the public interest community wanted. Everybody thought that when Julius Genachowski took over the Federal Communications Commission, he would quickly pass a net neutrality rule and solve this problem and make good on the President’s promises. It is a testament to the massive lobbying clout of the telephone and cable companies that this has happened, that this FCC chairman — certainly unexcusable, but it explains why he’s sitting on his hands, although it really is to the surprise to all of us. We all thought that this would not be a problem by now. Nobody expected the court case in April that took away the agency’s authority. Many people are not talking about the fact that it would be very easy for Chairman Genachowski—he has the votes—to simply move what’s called a reclassification of agency authority, and he could reestablish his authority at the agency, and we can solve this problem.

And what’s really the most alarming thing, Juan, is the fact that what we’re seeing is the same old same old, the same kind of approach to policy making and regulation that we saw in the run-up to the financial crisis, the same kind of oversight that we saw with the oil spill. It’s the same kind of money in politics kind of running the show and running the table in Washington. And at some point, we have to stop it, because the fact is, if we can’t deal with this money-in-politics problem and the campaign finance problem, and if we cannot ensure quality journalism and access to information for the American people, we have no democracy. It will not work. And those are the two lynchpins of our current democracy, and every problem with every other issue circle back to them. Fortunately, especially with this internet issue, there is something you can do. You can go to savetheinternet.com. You can take action, join millions of people who get it and are starting to get involved.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And what about Congress, the overwhelmingly Democratic Congress? Is there any hope that Congress can step in and right what’s occurred right now and be able to put some limits on these deals that are being put together by Google and Verizon and the other companies?

JOSH SILVER: The reason Congress can’t act on this in a way that’s reliable is the same reason that the healthcare bill got glutted with loopholes. The telephone and telecom industry is second only to big pharmaceutical in Washington spending. They run the table with the US Congress, and it’s well known in town. The fact is, is that we had all but one House Republican vote against the FCC having any authority over internet service providers. We had seventy-four Democrats from the House come out and say no agency authority. These are folks that are really doing whatever the phone companies tell them to. And so, if you leave this to Congress, you can be certain that, if there is any legislation, it too will be riddled with loopholes, and the consumers will pay.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Google is denying this. They said, "We have not had any conversations with Verizon about paying for carriage of Google traffic. We remain as committed as we always have been to an open internet." Josh Silver, your response?

JOSH SILVER: Those are bogus and expected denials. They also — it should be noted, they’ve been very opaque. They’ve been in short statements and in Twitter feeds. The fact is, is that what Google is saying is almost like saying, "We don’t want to sell cigarettes to nine-year-olds, but we want to be able to sell cigarettes to nine-year-olds if we decide to." That’s the analogy that you could use in this case.

AMY GOODMAN: And Google’s slogan, "Do no evil"?

JOSH SILVER: I think it’s over. The era of Google doing no evil just ended at the moment of this deal. Now, there is a possibility they’re going to change the terms of this deal, which has yet to be announced—it’s expected it’ll be announced on Monday—but if they go ahead with this, Google is joining the ranks of the evil corporations that will do anything to make a profit at the consumer’s expense.

AMY GOODMAN: Josh Silver, we want to thank you for being with us, president and CEO of Free Press. www.freepress.net

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Oct 30, 2010 6:26pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Emergency Petition to Google: Don't be evil

billionaire Media Moguls destroying Our Democracy

Ted Turner destroyed America's TV news journalism as we "knew it" with his CNN, CNN International, Headline News, and his other Time Warner holdings. Turner's news broadcasting empire "killed the competition." Then Ted Turner's CNN ran Lou Dobbs shows for years!

Lou Dobbs keeps flailing the dead horse of his fake ACORN 'scandal'

Lou Dobbs had worked with CNN since its founding in 1980, serving as a reporter and vice president. He was the host and managing editor for CNN's Moneyline, which premiered in 1980 and was renamed Lou Dobbs Tonight in 2003. Dobbs resigned from CNN in 1999, rejoined in 2000, and resigned again in November 2009. Not to mention, his CNN launched and aired scores of Glenn Beck's TV shows.

Caller Reduces Glenn Beck To High-Pitched Hissy Fit

In January 2006, CNN's Headline News announced that Beck would host a nightly news-commentary show in their new prime-time block Headline Prime. The show, simply called Glenn Beck, aired weeknights at 7:00 p.m., repeating at 9:00 p.m. and midnight (all times Eastern) from May 8, 2006 to October 16, 2008.

What does Ted Turner think about Anderson Cooper's & Wolf Blitzer's "hard-hitting" reality-TV fake-news, trying to suppress Voters and Voting via censorship and propaganda?

It's Priceless!!!

Ted Turner's net worth is $2 billion.

Ted Turner is the largest individual landholder in North America! Ted Turner OWNS approximately two million acres of personal and ranch land. Ted Turner's Western properties consist of 15 ranches in seven states (Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Oklahoma).

GE & Comcast announce joint $37 Billion NBC deal

Murdoch Seizes Wall St. Journal In $5 Billion Coup

not to mention his Fox Republican News channel

News Corp Donates $1 MILLION To Republican Governors Association
Grievance
Rupert Murdoch
rupert-murdoch.jpeg
Grievance
and his Family
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DemocracyNow! news-hour
is run by Amy Goodman

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Juan Gonzales
Strength
Amy Goodman
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Democracy Now! is funded entirely through contributions from listeners, viewers, and foundations. We do not accept advertisers, corporate underwriting, or government funding. This allows us to maintain our independence.

super-Strength
meet the DemocracyNow! crew
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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Sep 24, 2011 6:04am
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Emergency Petition to Google: Don't be evil

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-23/news-corp-phone-hacking-victims-plan-to-file-u-s-suit-against-directors.html

News Corp. Phone-Hacking Victims Plan to File U.S. Suit Against Directors - reported by Anthony Aarons for Bloomberg - Sep 23, 2011

Mark Lewis, a lawyer representing phone-hacking victims in London, represents the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler. Revelations that Dowler’s mobile-phone messages were deleted while she was missing in 2002 led to the closure of Murdoch's News of the World. This forced News Corp. to drop a takeover bid for British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc.

U.S. lawyers will make the final decisions on the defendants to include in the lawsuit, Lewis said in a separate interview on BBC News. He said that lawyers are looking at areas that should have been part of the knowledge of directors of a large corporation. Lawyers would seek to speak with News Corp. (NWS) Chairman Rupert Murdoch and Deputy Chief Operating Officer James Murdoch, Lewis said.

News Corp. agreed to pay 3 million pounds ($4.6 million) to the Dowlers and a charity to settle the family’s claims, a person with knowledge of the matter said this week. Rupert Murdoch was personally involved in the negotiations, the person said.

Mark Thomson, a lawyer who represents U.K. phone-hacking victims including Jude Law and Hugh Grant, said in an e-mail that none of his clients are taking part in a New York lawsuit.

At least 16 people have been arrested in the U.K. police probe into hacking, including Andy Coulson, an ex-News of the World editor who also served as Prime Minister David Cameron’s communications chief, and Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive officer of News Corp.’s U.K. publishing unit.

News Corp., which faces a U.K. parliamentary probe of phone hacking by its employees, is also the subject of criminal investigations in the U.S.

U.S. prosecutors are examining whether employees of Rupert Murdoch’s company tried to access the voicemails of 9-11 victims, broke antitrust or related laws and, according to a person familiar with the probe, bribed U.K. police for information.

The third line of inquiry was disclosed in a U.S. letter to the company requesting information on any bribes paid by its News of the World unit, said the person, who declined to be identified because the matter isn’t public. The letter is part of a Justice Department effort to determine whether News Corp. violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, the person said.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/News_International_phone_hacking_scandal

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Oct 29, 2010 7:10pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Emergency Petition to Google: Don't be evil

This deal is the definition of evil. Kiss goodbye forever your freedom to search, or browse, or locate, or download, or stream and/or ever listen to Grateful Dead tapes again, once Net Neutrality is gone. Bit Torrents will be be hopelessly slow - if you're lucky! Comcast has already been caught red-handed. Comcast was censoring and limiting bandwidth to their internet subscribers who used bit torrents to do file-sharing with others via peer-to-peer networking. Comcast is denying this, even though they got caught. A lawsuit is pending, Hart v. Comcast of Alameda, No. 2:08-MD-1992-LDD. Comcast has proven they will be extorting EXTRA FEES and NEW FEES from everyone. This is just so we can get the same internet we're already getting right now. WTF!!!

dead-head_Monte-comcast_lawsuit.jpg

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Poster: stbalbach Date: Oct 29, 2010 10:07pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Emergency Petition to Google: Don't be evil

Thanks for the document. This is part of the larger debate over `network neutrality`.

Everyone likes to talk about government being the boogie man, but history has shown with every new mass media technology: radio, TV, telephone -- they start out free and open but eventually one or a handful of large corporations dominate and control the medium, until there is some revolution that breaks it up (ie. MaBell and MCI in the 80s). It's not government we have to worry about. Just looking at history, I predict the net will become controlled by a few large corporations within a generation or two and it will no longer be neutral (ie. ISPs will charge for using services like P2P). ISPs actually have a good monetary case for it, 90% of the bandwidth is used by 10% of the users, and a lot of that is P2P (and video streaming). It comes down to doing the right thing -vs- quarterly profits.

Stephen

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Oct 30, 2010 1:38pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Emergency Petition to Google: Don't be evil

Comcast's chief operating officer will take over as chief executive of NBC Universal once Comcast officially owns a 51 percent majority stake of the media giant (including MSNBC, CNBC, and all NBC properties).

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jan 19, 2011 11:00am
Forum: texts Subject: Re: FCC Approves Comcast Takeover of NBC Universal

FCC Approves Comcast Takeover of NBC Universal

The FCC has given final approval to a $30 billion takeover by the nation’s largest cable television company, Comcast, of the television and movie giant NBC Universal. The merger gives Comcast control of the NBC network, the Spanish-language Telemundo, cable channels including MSNBC, dozens of local television stations and the Universal film studio. The FCC vote was four to one, with Commissioner Michael Copps casting the lone dissent vote. Media democracy advocates have widely criticized the merger. Josh Silver of the group Free Press spoke to Democracy Now! on Tuesday.

Josh Silver: "The Comcast-NBC merger is going to increase prices for consumers, it’s going to make independent voices even more scarce on commercial television dials, and it’s going to cut out independent programming even further from the cable dial. Yesterday’s announcement of this merger flies in the face of President Obama’s stated commitment to oppose media consolidation when he was on the campaign trail, and it bodes terribly for the future of the internet. We expect to see higher costs for access, higher costs for cable programming, higher costs for internet access, and, at the end of the day, less choices for consumers and higher prices."

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: May 12, 2011 11:05am
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Emergency Petition to Google: Don't be evil

Meredith Attwell Baker, FCC Commissioner, Joins NBC Universal 4 Months After Approving Comcast Merger

By JOELLE TESSLER - 05/11/11 09:57 PM ET - Associated Press
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WASHINGTON -- A top telecommunications regulator who voted to approve Comcast Corp.'s takeover of NBC Universal in January is leaving to join the company as a lobbyist.

M. A. Baker
nms_1004.jpgMeredith Attwell Baker, one of two Republicans on the five-member Federal Communications Commission, will become Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for NBC Universal.

Comcast said it did not begin discussions with Baker about a possible job until after the transaction had closed. Baker will leave the FCC on June 3, less than a month before her term was set to expire. She joined the agency in July 2009.

Craig Aaron, head of the public interest group Free Press, called the move an example of "business as usual in Washington – where the complete capture of government by industry barely raises any eyebrows."

Comcast, the nation's largest cable TV company, bought a controlling interest in NBC Universal after the FCC and the Justice Department approved the deal with conditions following a yearlong review. The FCC's vote was 4-1. Comcast has 16.988 million high-speed internet customers as of February 16, 2011.

"I am privileged to have had the opportunity to serve the country at a time of critical transformation in the telecommunications industry," Baker said in a statement. "The continued deployment of our broadband infrastructures will meaningfully impact the lives of all Americans. I am happy to have played a small part in this success."

At the FCC, Baker was a reliable pro-business voice who frequently expressed concern that the agency was imposing unnecessary and onerous regulations on phone and cable companies.

Along with fellow Republican commissioner Robert McDowell, Baker opposed the controversial "network neutrality" rules approved by the commission's three Democrats last year. Those rules, which prohibit phone and cable companies from interfering with Internet traffic on their broadband networks, are now facing legal challenges from Verizon and Metro PCS.

The companies are suing the FCC in the same federal appeals court that ruled against the agency last year in a case involving Comcast. The court said the agency had exceeded its legal authority in sanctioning Comcast for discriminating against online file-sharing traffic on its broadband internet network. The FCC had said that Comcast violated broad net neutrality principles first established by the commission in 2005, which became the foundation of the formal rules adopted last year.

M. K. Powell
Powell_Michael.gifBefore joining the FCC, Baker was head of the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, where she helped oversee the transition from analog to digital broadcasting. Baker, 43, will be based in Washington and will report to Kyle McSlarrow at Comcast. McSlarrow joined Comcast in April to head the company's Washington operations. McSlarrow previously headed the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. The NCTA is the cable industry's top trade group. After McSlarrow's departure from the NCTA, former FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell (Colin Powell's son) took the helm of the NCTA. Such moves between the private sector and the government are common in Washington. a.k.a. The Revolving Door Policy! Now we know why Michael Powell never met a media merger he didn't like.



This post was modified by dead-head_Monte on 2011-05-12 18:05:37

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Aug 12, 2010 10:26am
Forum: texts Subject: Google/Verizon Press Conference - Net Neurtrality is Dead!

Progressive Change Campaign Committee

Call FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and tell him to stop Google's evil deal!

Genachowski: Stop Google's evil deal!

Huffington Post headline:

Friends, Deadheads, and internet users - get your music, images, texts, amd movies now, while the getting is good! Democracy on the internet is over!

Verizon and Google announced the Death of Net Neutrality for all of us!

Google and Verizon just announced that they will use their massive lobbying budgets to pressure the FCC to kill Net Neutrality. Their proposal? To allow giant corporations to have a bigger voice than the rest of us by building a new, corporate-controlled fast lane online and leaving the rest of us behind.

Obama appointee and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski can stop this evil deal.

We've gotten a hold of Genachowski's office telephone number. Can you give him a call and tell him to reject Google's deal? Click here.

This deal is the definition of evil. Kiss goodbye forever your freedom to search, or browse, or locate, or download, or stream and/or ever listen to Grateful Dead tapes again, once Net Neutrality is gone. Bit Torrents will be be hopelessly slow - if you're lucky! Comcast has already been caught red-handed. Comcast was censoring and limiting bandwidth to their internet subscribers who used bit torrents to do file-sharing with others via peer-to-peer networking. A lawsuit is pending, Hart v. Comcast of Alameda, No. 2:08-MD-1992-LDD. Comcast has proven they will be extorting EXTRA FEES and NEW FEES from everyone. This is just so we can get the same internet we're already getting right now. WTF!!!

You can "kiss goodbye free downloading music, free streaming music, free viewing images, movies, and texts on The Internet Archive forever!" The only thing you will be getting "for free" are ads, spam, phishing, spy-bots, propaganda items, brainwashing, lies, and bullshit - 24/7/365! Just take a moment and check it out.

It would open the door to outright blocking of political content big corporations don't like, just as Verizon did recently with text messages from NARAL Pro-choice America. And it would make it much harder for new innovations like the next YouTube to get off the ground. Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace social networking sites will be off limits to you, unless you enjoy sharing free corporate infomercials with your friends.

The Internet would no longer be a level playing field. Instead, Google would create a corporate-controlled Internet for the big guys, and crumbs for us. Get ready to pony up people. The toll lanes and toll booths are coming to an ISP near you. That's what this means to you.

Genachowski can't sit by while big corporations write the rules for the Internet. He needs to reject this deal and protect the American people's right to a free and open Internet.

We urge you to call Chairman Genachowski. Tell him to reject Google's evil deal! This is your chance to you tell him "Blow Me!" when you call his phone number, at 202-418-1000 . The FCC is throwing our demorcracy down the toilet. The FCC and Obama are being traitors. Obama promised to defend Net Neutrality. Now he appears to be saying, "Shove it up your ass!"

Monday, the PCCC joined Free Press, MoveOn, CREDO Action, and ColorOfChange to deliver a first batch of signatures to Google's DC headquarters -- we delivered 300,000 strong.

We'll make sure Google continues to hear about the increasing number of Internet users who refuse to let big corporations end the Internet as we know it.

Your call today will make a big difference - click here to join us.

Thanks for being a bold progressive,

Jason Rosenbaum, Julia Rosen, Stephanie Taylor, Adam Green and the rest of the PCCC team


Want to support our work? We're entirely funded by our members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. We've received over 60,246 small-dollar donations. Can you help us hit 65,000?

Paid for by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee PAC (www.BoldProgressives.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. Contributions to the PCCC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

Here's another group of groups weighing in with us. They're from The Public sector.

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Dear Friends, Deadheads, and internet users,

On Monday, Google and Verizon made it official: Forget "Don't Be Evil" — they're planning a massive corporate takeover of the Internet.

Their deal was met with a deafening public outcry — with hundreds of thousands of angry letters rolling in, and everyone from Silicon Valley innovators to leading members of Congress weighing in against the dangerous pact.

But one man was strangely silent: FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

You'd think the chairman would have something to say, given that two of the biggest companies on the Internet want to put toll roads on the information superhighway, eliminate Net Neutrality on wireless networks, and turn the FCC into a toothless watchdog.

We think it's time Chairman Genachowski spoke up.

We think it's time he denounced this deal in no uncertain terms.

We think it's time he made clear that these behemoths can't write their own rules — because that's his job.

And we think it's time that he deliver on his promise to restore the FCC's authority to protect Internet users and make Net Neutrality the rule of the road — once and for all.

If you agree, add your name to our letter to Chairman Genachowski:

Dear Chairman Genachowski,
Google and Verizon's pact has sparked a massive public outcry. People are upset because we've seen what happens when we let big companies regulate themselves or hope they'll do the right thing.

Please denounce this deal and deliver on your promise to restore the FCC's authority to protect Internet users and make Net Neutrality the rule of the road.

We know such a move may not be popular on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley, but it's the kind of leadership we need now.

It's not up to Google and Verizon to make public policy. We're counting on you to save the Internet.
Chairman Genachowski has heard plenty from Google and Verizon. Now he needs to hear from you. Please sign the letter now.

Thank you,
Craig Aaron

Managing Director
Free Press
SavetheInternet.com

P.S. Google let us down in striking this deal. But its betrayal has brought unprecedented attention to the need to protect the open Internet. We must keep the pressure on the FCC. Please forward this e-mail widely and share the letter on Facebook and Twitter.

Want to learn more? Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
If you haven't already, you can also join our E-Activist list.

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Poster: advokat Date: Sep 22, 2010 11:01pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Live Evil Lives- for dead head monte

Dear FCC Commissioner Julius Genachowski:

The Internet has facilitated an explosion of creativity and commerce, offering unprecedented opportunities to musicians and music entrepreneurs. Due to the open structures of the Internet, musicians and other creators and innovators can compete on an equal technological playing field with the biggest companies. The result is a blossoming and legitimate marketplace that compensates creators while rewarding fans with access to an incredible array of music.

None of this could have happened without Net Neutrality -- the principle that protects the open Internet. That's why we support efforts to preserve Net Neutrality for the benefit of innovation and free expression -- and urge the FCC to act immediately to ensure that the Internet is kept free and open.

As artists, we are encouraged that the Commission recognizes the importance of net neutrality. We encourage you to apply its core principles to any and all broadband points of access, including the wireless space. We also encourage you to consider the perspectives of musicians, who depend on an open Internet to compete in a crucial marketplace and express ourselves creatively.

We will continue to support the Commission on the road to achieving clear and enforceable rules of the road for the Internet for the benefit of creators, innovators, entrepreneurs and the public. However, we also feel that the time to act is now, to avoid prolonged uncertainty for all stakeholders, including musicians and music entrepreneurs. The future of the Internet depends on decisions made today, as does the future of music. We believe that Net Neutrality is the best and only way to ensure that both futures remain bright.

Sincerely,
R.E.M.
The Roots
Rosanne Cash
Bonnie Raitt
Jackson Browne
MOBY
OK Go
Jamie Kitman
Writers Guild of America, East

http://www.archive.org/post/319635/google-verizon-press-conference-net-neurtrality-is-dead

This post was modified by advokat on 2010-09-23 06:01:18

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jan 30, 2011 6:23pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Emergency Petition to Google: Don't be evil

Verizon Challenges FCC's Net Neutrality Rules

by Joelle Tessler - Huffington Post - Jan 20, 2011

WASHINGTON — Verizon Communications Inc. on Thursday filed a legal challenge to new federal regulations that prohibit broadband providers from interfering with Internet traffic flowing over their networks.

In a filing in federal appeals court in the District of Columbia, Verizon argues that the Federal Communications Commission overstepped its authority in adopting the new "network neutrality" rules last month.

The rules prohibit phone and cable companies from favoring or discriminating against Internet content and services – including online calling services such as Skype and Internet video services such as Netflix, which in many cases compete with services sold by companies like Verizon.

The FCC's three Democrats voted to adopt the rules over the opposition of the agency's two Republicans just before Christmas. Republicans in Congress, who now control the House, have vowed to try to block the rules from taking effect. They argue that they amount to unnecessary regulation that will discourage phone and cable companies from investing in their networks.

Several key House Republicans, including House Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton of Michigan, welcomed Verizon's actions Thursday as "a check on an FCC that is acting beyond the authority granted to it by Congress." The court challenge had been widely expected.

In a statement, Verizon said that while it is "committed to preserving an open Internet," it remains "deeply concerned by the FCC's assertion of broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband networks and the Internet itself."

The company is taking the case to the same federal court that ruled last year that the FCC had exceeded its legal authority in sanctioning cable giant Comcast Corp. The agency had cited Comcast for discriminating against online file-sharing traffic on its network – violating broad net neutrality principles first established by the agency in 2005. Those principles served as a foundation for the formal rules adopted by the commission last month.

Last year's court ruling forced the FCC to look for a new framework for regulating broadband to ensure the commission would be on solid legal ground in adopting net neutrality and other rules. The agency currently treats broadband as a lightly regulated "information service," as opposed to phone service, which is more heavily regulated as a so-called "common carrier."

At one point, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski proposed redefining broadband as a telecommunications service subject to common carrier obligations to treat all traffic equally. But he later backed down in the face of fierce opposition from the phone and cable companies, as well as many Congressional Republicans.

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jan 30, 2011 6:38pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Emergency Petition to Google: Don't be evil

New FCC Net Neutrality Rules debated

Democracy Now - Dec 21, 2010 -- watch and listen to interview

Obama Flip-Flop: FCC Vote Could End Net Neutrality -- rush transcript

AMY GOODMAN: When Obama was running for office three years ago, he pledged to support the principle of a free and open internet, saying, "I will take a backseat to no one with regards to net neutrality." Fast-forward to today and the FCC chair that Obama appointed is leading a vote that could end net neutrality. Today’s pivotal vote will decide on a new set of regulations that critics say will create a two-tiered system for the internet. We speak with Craig Aaron of the media reform group Free Press.

This is what President Obama said about net neutrality when he was running for office three years ago.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA: I will take a backseat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality, because once providers start to privilege some applications or websites over others, then the smaller voices get squeezed out and we all lose. The internet is perhaps the most open network history, and we have to keep it that way.

AMY GOODMAN: That was November 2007. Fast-forward to today, and the FCC chair that Obama appointed is leading the vote that could end net neutrality.

Today’s pivotal FCC vote will decide on a new set of regulations that critics say will create a two-tiered system for the internet. Under the proposed rules, internet service providers would be barred from slowing competitors’ services or websites but could charge higher fees for faster access to online content. Media reform advocates say that by allowing companies to ration access, the proposals violate the net neutrality principle of a free and open internet.

Unveiling his plan earlier this month, the FCC chair appointed by President Obama, Julius Genachowski, endorsed the implementation of what he called "usage-based pricing."

JULIUS GENACHOWSKI: Reasonable network management is an important part of the proposal, recognizing that what is reasonable will take account of the network technology and architecture involved. Our work has also demonstrated the importance of business innovation to promote network investment and efficient use, including measures to match price to cost, such as usage-based pricing.

AMY GOODMAN: On Monday, Genachowski’s plan picked up support from FCC commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn—both Democrats. That’s enough for a majority when the five-member panel holds its vote today.

To talk about the FCC vote, I’m joined in Washington by Craig Aaron. He’s the managing director of the media reform group Free Press.

OK, Craig, so that everyone understands what is about to happen today, please explain what actions President Obama’s appointee is taking.

CRAIG AARON: So, what the net neutrality—excuse me, what the FCC is doing today, Amy, is voting on the FCC chairman’s proposal for new net neutrality rules. So these will be the new rules of the road that govern the internet. And unfortunately, these rules simply aren’t good enough. They’re half net neutrality or fake net neutrality, because they wouldn’t protect all internet users. For example, they would not protect wireless networks, so things that you would be prohibited from doing on your home wire line connection that companies couldn’t, say, discriminate or favor certain sites over the others, those protections are not extended to the wireless internet.

And unfortunately, this proposal appears to be riddled with loopholes that would open the door to all kinds of future abuses allowing companies like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, the big internet service providers, to decide which websites are going to work, which aren’t, and which are going to be able to get special treatment. Of course, that’s going to be their own websites and services, a few select giant corporate partners, with the effect of slowing down everybody else and creating that divided highway that we’ve been fighting against for years.

AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go back to this issue of wireless versus when you’re wired in at home or at work—"wireless" meaning when your computer—you can go just anywhere. And explain how—the differences between the two and what will happen.

CRAIG AARON: Well, so, what we’re talking about in terms of wireless or wireless devices, like mobile phones and iPads and, you know, many things that are being developed now, of course, this is the future of the internet, you know, not using a cable connection or a fiber connection directly into your living room or office, but, of course, being out there using mobile technology, cellular technology. That’s the future of the wireless internet. Many people, that’s becoming their primary connection, especially in low-income communities, especially in minority communities. And this rule—

AMY GOODMAN: And explain how they’ll be treated differently.

CRAIG AARON:—unfortunately, doesn’t extend those protections.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain how then they will be treated differently.

CRAIG AARON: Well, there’s simply the rules—sure. The rules simply will not apply to wireless connections, so there won’t be any net neutrality protections in the wireless space. And that means that these wireless providers will be free to discriminate. They can decide to favor certain services over others. For example, if AT&T wants to develop a video service, they can give that priority treatment while slowing down or blocking Netflix. They could do that with any different kind of service that you would be able to access on the internet. And so, the effect is, essentially, creating two internets—one for wired users, one for wireless users—and basically condoning discrimination in the wireless space, which is the future of the internet. And that’s really the biggest flaw with what the FCC chairman is proposing today and what apparently is going to be voted out.

AMY GOODMAN: So, we’re talking today about President Obama’s appointee, right, the FCC commissioner, and—

CRAIG AARON: That’s right.

AMY GOODMAN:—the person who many consider the champion of media democracy, and that is Commissioner Copps, along with the other Democratic appointee, Clyburn. Explain how this is the bloc that is voting for this.

CRAIG AARON: Well, I wish I had a good explanation. It’s very disappointing that they have decided to go forward with this. I think this is party loyalty, unfortunately, trumping the public interest in this case. And they have decided—it’s our understanding that Commissioner Copps, Commissioner Clyburn tried to improve these rules, that the chairman refused to budge, apparently because he had already reached an agreement with AT&T and the cable lobbyists about how far these rules were going to go. And in their calculation, they decided to support these rules to put in the half measures or the partial net neutrality, and they have decided to vote for it. I think that’s very disappointing. And unfortunately, this is just another example of a major squandered opportunity.

There are millions and millions of Americans who have contacted the FCC. Ninety percent of the comments they received were supporting strong net neutrality. Commissioners Copps and Clyburn went across the country, heard from people all across the country about how important net neutrality is. But unfortunately, this is another example where the Obama administration has, you know, put forward a compromise on a compromise on a compromise and asked the American public to swallow it, while the companies really haven’t had to give up very much at all. And that’s where we are today.

AMY GOODMAN: Commissioner Clyburn is the daughter of the House Majority Whip, James Clyburn of South Carolina. And the Republicans are opposed to this, the two Republican appointees?

CRAIG AARON: Well, that’s right. And in the strange politics of Washington these days, the Republicans oppose any kind of regulation whatsoever, so they’re making all sorts of noise that this is some kind of massive overreach, when it couldn’t be further from the truth. But this is the game that the big phone and cable companies are playing. They’ve asked their Republican allies to make a lot of noise, talk about how any kind of regulation is bad, trying to force the FCC chairman and the Democrats on the Commission into this really false middle and trying to portray champions of net neutrality, public interest advocates, as some kind of extremists.

Unfortunately, the only thing we’re left with here is an extremely disappointing order that won’t give the American public the protections they need, that won’t give internet users the protections that they need and, I think, really jeopardizes the internet’s continued growth as an unrivaled source of economic innovation, of democratic participation, of free speech. This is a very big step in the wrong direction by the FCC today and, I think, a very big disappointment to everybody who believed not just President Obama, but Chairman Genachowski, when he, you know, spoke up and said he was going to protect the free and open internet no matter what.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think this vote could be changed today? Do you think powerful pressure could make a difference?

CRAIG AARON: Well, I certainly don’t think—the fight is far from over. And, you know, we’ll see what happens on the vote today. All indications are they’re going to move forward with these rules, and there’s no question the devil will be in the details. So we’ll have to look very carefully at what exactly is in these rules, how big are the loopholes, what are perhaps some of the good things, like increased transparency that will allow us to expose the bad actions of the phone and cable companies going forward. We’ll be exploring and pursuing any legal options that are out there to improve these rules or, if necessary, challenge them. And then we’ll begin, starting tomorrow, campaigning to fix these rules, to improve them, to bolster our champions on the Hill, like Senator Al Franken, who have spoken out strongly against what the FCC is doing. And we’ll begin that fight to make sure the free and open internet stays that way.

AMY GOODMAN: Craig Aaron, I—

CRAIG AARON: This is certainly not the end of that fight. It’s a setback.

AMY GOODMAN: I can’t help—I can’t help but think back three years ago—two-and-a-half years ago. It was the first—the night before the opening night of the Democratic convention in Denver. One of the first parties held was thrown by AT&T. Us—the reporters could not get in. Delegates were streaming in. And they were holding it for the Democrats, because they had turned around, particularly Senator Obama at the time, who said he would never grant retroactive immunity to the telecoms, but then turned around—they granted retroactive immunity for spying on the American people, and this big party was held. And I remember on Democracy Now! at the time holding up the DNC bag that all the delegates were getting, and there was the logo emblazoned on it that said "AT&T" on that bag. Craig Aaron, talk about who profits here and the amount of contributions that are flooding Congress now from the telecom companies.

CRAIG AARON: Well, as you may know, the phone and cable company lobby is one of the biggest in Washington. In recent years, they’ve deployed 500 lobbyists, basically one for every member of Congress, and that’s just what they report. AT&T is the biggest campaign giver in the history of campaign giving, as long as we have been tracking it. So they have really entrenched themselves. And Comcast, Verizon, the other big companies, are not far behind. And we’re really seeing that play out here, you know, once again, the big powerful corporate interests using their lobbying clout, using their campaign contributions, to undo any threat to their power, to their plans for what they want to do for the future of the internet.

And there’s no question that AT&T’s fingerprints are all over the FCC’s order today, and it seems that the FCC chairman was unwilling to [improve] this rule, because he was afraid that AT&T would walk away. And I guess that tells you everything you need to know. When you read AT&T’s positive statement today about what the FCC is doing, that’s a very telling statement and a very far cry from what President Obama and Julius Genachowski had promised to do once they get into office.

But unfortunately—and this is something we need to change in Washington—that’s how it works. You know, when AT&T wants to get together all of their lobbyists, there’s no room big enough. They had to rent out a movie theater. People from the public interest who are fighting for the free and open internet, you know, here in D.C., they can still share a cab. So we have a lot of work to do to undo the power of these big companies and challenge them. We had been very hopeful that the Obama administration was going to take steps in that direction, but it’s very clear that we’re going have to go back to the drawing board and really challenge this corporate power at every turn, because we’ve seen time and time again how damaging it can be to free speech and innovation.

AMY GOODMAN: Craig Aaron, I want to thank you very much for being with us, managing director of the media reform group Free Press, and end with a quote of Senator Al Franken, who said, "Mobile networks like AT&T and Verizon Wireless would be able to shut off your access to content or applications for any reason. For instance, Verizon could prevent you from accessing Google Maps on your phone, forcing you to use [their] own mapping program, Verizon Navigator, even if it costs money to use and isn’t nearly as good." Those were the words of Senator Al Franken.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed.

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: May 27, 2011 1:55pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Emergency Petition to Google: Don't be evil

dn_logo.png

May 27, 2011

Eli Pariser on "The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You

"The internet is increasingly becoming an echo chamber in which websites tailor information according to the preferences they detect in each viewer. When some users search the word “Egypt,” they may get the latest news about the revolution, others might only see search results about Egyptian vacations. The top 50 websites collect an average of 64 bits of personal information each time we visit—and then custom-design their sites to conform to our perceived preferences. What impact will this online filtering have on the future of democracy? We speak to Eli Pariser, author of The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You. "Take news about the war in Afghanistan. When you talk to people who run news websites, they’ll tell you stories about the war in Afghanistan don’t perform very well. They don’t get a lot of clicks. People don’t flock to them. And yet, this is arguably one of the most important issues facing the country," says Pariser. "But it will never make it through these filters. And especially on Facebook this is a problem, because the way that information is transmitted on Facebook is with the 'like' button. And the 'like' button, it has a very particular valence. It’s easy to click 'like' on 'I just ran a marathon' or 'I baked a really awesome cake.' It’s very hard to click 'like' on 'war in Afghanistan enters its 10th year.'"

Eli Pariser, author of the new book, 'The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You'. He is also the board president and former executive director of MoveOn.org, which at five million members is one of the largest citizens’ organizations in American politics.

JUAN GONZALEZ: When you follow your friends on Facebook or run a search on Google, what information comes up, and what gets left out? That’s the subject of a new book by Eli Pariser called The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You. According to Pariser, the internet is increasingly becoming an echo chamber in which websites tailor information according to the preferences they detect in each viewer. Yahoo! News tracks which articles we read. Zappos registers the type of shoes we wear, we prefer. And Netflix stores data on each movie we select.

AMY GOODMAN: The top 50 websites collect an average of 64 bits of personal information each time we visit and then custom-designs their sites to conform to our perceived preferences. While these websites profit from tailoring their advertisements to specific visitors, users pay a big price for living in an information bubble outside of their control. Instead of gaining wide exposure to diverse information, we’re subjected to narrow online filters.

Eli Pariser is the author of The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You. He is also the board president and former executive director of the group MoveOn.org. Eli joins us in the New York studio right now after a whirlwind tour through the United States.

Welcome, Eli.

ELI PARISER: Thanks for having me on.

AMY GOODMAN: So, this may surprise people. Two of us sitting here, me and Juan, if we went online, the two of us, and put into Google "Eli Pariser"—

ELI PARISER: Right.

AMY GOODMAN:—we actually might come up with a wholly different set of finds, a totally different set of links, of search results.

ELI PARISER: That’s right. I was surprised. I didn’t know that that was, you know, how it was working, until I stumbled across a little blog post on Google’s blog that said "personalized search for everyone." And as it turns out, for the last several years, there is no standard Google. There’s no sort of "this is the link that is the best link." It’s the best link for you. And the definition of what the best link for you is, is the thing that you’re the most likely to click. So, it’s not necessarily what you need to know; it’s what you want to know, what you’re most likely to click.

JUAN GONZALEZ: But isn’t that counter to the original thing that brought so many people to Google, that the algorithms that Google had developed really were reaching out to the best available information that was out there on the web?

ELI PARISER: Yeah. You know, if you look at how they talked about the original Google algorithm, they actually talked about it in these explicitly democratic terms, that the web was kind of voting—each page was voting on each other page in how credible it was. And this is really a departure from that. This is moving more toward, you know, something where each person can get very different results based on what they click on.

And when I did this recently with Egypt—I had two friends google "Egypt"—one person gets search results that are full of information about the protests there, about what’s going on politically; the other person, literally nothing about the protests, only sort of travel to see the Pyramids websites.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, wait, explain that again. I mean, that is astounding. So you go in. The uprising is happening in Egypt.

ELI PARISER: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: In fact, today there’s a mass protest in Tahrir Square. They’re protesting the military council and other issues. So, if I look, and someone who likes to travel look, they may not even see a reference to the uprising?

ELI PARISER: That’s right. I mean, there was nothing in the top 10 links. And, you know, actually, the way that people use Google, most people use just those top three links. So, if Google isn’t showing you sort of the information that you need to know pretty quickly, you can really miss it. And this isn’t just happening at Google; it’s happening all across the web, when I started looking into this. You know, it’s happening on most major websites, and increasingly on news websites. So, Yahoo! News does the exact same thing, tailoring what you see on Yahoo! News to which articles it thinks you might be interested in. And, you know, what’s concerning about this is that it’s really happening invisibly. You know, we don’t see this at work. You can’t tell how different the internet that you see is from the internet that anyone else sees is, but it’s getting increasingly different.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, what about the responses of those who run these search engines, that they’re merely responding to the interests and needs of the people who use the system?

ELI PARISER: Well, you know, I think—they say, "We’re just giving people what we want." And I say, "Well, what do you mean by 'what we want'?" Because I think, actually, all of us want a lot of different things. And there’s a short-term sort of compulsive self that clicks on the celebrity gossip and the more trivial articles, and there’s a longer-term self that wants to be informed about the world and be a good citizen. And those things are intentional all the time. You know, we have those two forces inside us. And the best media helps us sort of—helps the long-term self get an edge a little bit. It gives us some sort of information vegetables and some information dessert, and you get a balanced information diet. This is like you’re just surrounded by empty calories, by information junk food.

AMY GOODMAN: Eli, talk about your experience going on your own Facebook page.

ELI PARISER: So, this was actually the starting point for looking into this phenomenon. And basically, after 2008 and after I had transitioned out of being the executive director of MoveOn, I went on this little campaign to meet and befriend people who thought differently from me. I really wanted to hear what conservatives were thinking about, what they were talking about, you know, and learn a few things. And so, I had added these people as Facebook friends. And I logged on one morning and noticed that they weren’t there. They had disappeared. And it was very mysterious. You know, where did they go? And as it turned out, Facebook was tracking my behavior on the site. It was looking at every click. It was looking at every, you know, Facebook "like." And it was saying, "Well, Eli, you say that you’re interested in these people, but actually, we can tell your clicking more on the progressive links than on the conservative links, so we’re going to edit it out, edit these folks out." And they disappeared. And this gets to some of the danger of this stuff, which is that, you know, we have—

JUAN GONZALEZ: But Facebook edited out your friends?

ELI PARISER: Yeah, no. I really—you know, I miss them. And—

AMY GOODMAN: Your conservative friends.

ELI PARISER: My conservative friends, the friends that—you know, that I might—and what the play here is, is there’s this thing called confirmation bias, which is basically our tendency to feel good about information that confirms what we already believe. And, you know, you can actually see this in the brain. People get a little dopamine hit when they’re told that they’re right, essentially. And so, you know, if you were able to construct an algorithm that could show people whatever you wanted, and if the only purpose was actually to get people to click more and to view more pages, why would you ever show them something that makes them feel uncomfortable, makes them feel like they may not be right, makes them feel like there’s more to the world than our own little narrow ideas?

JUAN GONZALEZ: And doesn’t that, in effect, reinforce polarization within the society, in terms of people not being exposed to and listening to the viewpoints of others that they may disagree with?

ELI PARISER: Right. I mean, you know, democracy really requires this idea of discourse, of people hearing different ideas and responding to them and thinking about them. And, you know, I come back to this famous Daniel Patrick Moynihan quote where he says, you know, "Everybody is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts." It’s increasingly possible to live in an online world in which you do have your own facts. And you google "climate change," and you get the climate change links for you, and you don’t actually get exposed necessarily—you don’t even know what the alternate arguments are.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Now, what about the implications for this, as all of these—especially Google, Yahoo!, developed their own news sites? What are the implications in terms of the news that they put out then and the news that people receive?

ELI PARISER: Well, this is where it gets even more worrisome, because when you’re just basically trying to get people to click things more and view more pages, there’s a lot of things that just isn’t going to meet that threshold. So, you know, take news about the war in Afghanistan. When you talk to people who run news websites, they’ll tell you stories about the war in Afghanistan don’t perform very well. They don’t get a lot of clicks. People don’t flock to them. And yet, this is arguably one of the most important issues facing the country. We owe it to the people who there, at the very least, to understand what’s going on. But it will never make it through these filters. And especially on Facebook this is a problem, because the way that information is transmitted on Facebook is with the "like" button. And the "like" button, it has a very particular valence. It’s easy to click "like" on, you know, "I just ran a marathon" or "I baked a really awesome cake." It’s very hard to click "like" on, you know, "war in Afghanistan enters its sixth year"—or "10th year," sorry. You know, so information that is likable gets transmitted; information that’s not likable falls out.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to Eli Pariser, who has written the book The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You. Now, Google knows not only what you’re asking to search, right? They know where you are. They know the kind of computer you’re using. Tell us how much information they’re gathering from us.

ELI PARISER: Well, it’s really striking. I mean, even if you’re not—if you’re logged in to Google, then Google obviously has access to all of your email, all of your documents that you’ve uploaded, a lot of information. But even if you’re logged out, an engineer told me that there are 57 signals that Google tracks—"signals" is sort of their word for variables that they look at—everything from your computer’s IP address—that’s basically its address on the internet—what kind of laptop you’re using or computer you’re using, what kind of software you’re using, even things like the font size or how long you’re hovering over a particular link. And they use that to develop a profile of you, a sense of what kind of person is this. And then they use that to tailor the information that they show you.

And this is happening in a whole bunch of places, you know, not just sort of the main Google search, but also on Google News. And the plan for Google News is that once they sort of perfect this personalization algorithm, that they’re going to offer it to other news websites, so that all of that data can be brought to bear for any given news website, that it can tailor itself to you. You know, there are really important things that are going to fall out if those algorithms aren’t really good.

And what this raises is a sort of larger problem with how we tend to think about the internet, which is that we tend to think about the internet as this sort of medium where anybody can connect to anyone, it’s this very democratic medium, it’s a free-for-all, and it’s so much better than that old society with the gatekeepers that were controlling the flows of information. Really, that’s not how it’s panning out. And what we’re seeing is that a couple big companies are really—you know, most of the information is flowing through a couple big companies that are acting as the new gatekeepers. These algorithms do the same thing that the human editors do. They just do it much less visibly and with much less accountability.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And what are the options, the opt-out options, if there are any, for those who use, whether it’s Google or Yahoo! or Facebook? Their ability to control and keep their personal information?

ELI PARISER: Well, you know, there aren’t perfect opt-out options, because even if you take a new laptop out of the box, already it says something about you, that you bought a Mac and not a PC. I mean, it’s very hard to get entirely out of this. There’s no way to turn it off entirely at Google. But certainly, you can open a private browsing window. That helps.

I think, in the long run, you know, there’s sort of two things that need to happen here. One is, we need, ourselves, to understand better what’s happening, because it’s very dangerous when you have these kinds of filters operating and you don’t know what they’re ruling out that you’re not even seeing. That’s sort of a—that’s where people make bad decisions, is, you know, what Donald Rumsfeld called the "unknown unknowns," right? And this creates a lot of unknown unknowns. You don’t know how your experience of the world is being edited.

But it’s also a matter of pushing these companies to sort of—you know, these companies say that they want to be good. "Don’t be evil" is Google’s motto. They want to change the world. I think we have to push them to sort of live up to their best values as companies and incorporate into these algorithms more than just this very narrow idea of what is important.

AMY GOODMAN: So, what are they saying, the leaders of Google, Facebook, Yahoo!? I mean, are you talking to them?

ELI PARISER: Well, I tried to. You know, I had a brief conversation with Larry Page, in which he said, "Well, I don’t think this is a very interesting problem." And that was about that. But, you know, further down in Google, there are a bunch of people who are wrestling with this. I think the challenge is—I talked to one Facebook engineer who sort of summed it up quite well, and he said, "Look, what we love doing is sitting around and coming up with new clever ways of getting people to spend more minutes on Facebook, and we’re very good at that. And this is a much more complicated thing that you’re asking us to do, where you’re asking us to think about sort of our social responsibility and our civic responsibility, what kind of information is important. This is a much more complicated problem. We just want to do the easy stuff." And, you know, I think that’s what’s sort of led us to this current place. I think there are also people who see the flipside of that and say this is one of the big, juicy problems in front of us, is how do we actually take the best of sort of 20th century editorial values and import them into these new systems that are deciding what people see and what people don’t see.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about how much money is being made off of this. And I mean, just this neutral term of "personalization"—

ELI PARISER: Right.

AMY GOODMAN:—it sounds so benign. In fact, it sounds attractive.

ELI PARISER: It sounds great, yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s geared and tailored for you. What could be better?

ELI PARISER: Right. And it does rely on the sense of a sort of cozy, familiar world online, where your favorite website greets you and goes, "Oh, hey, Eli, we’ve teed up all of these articles for you. Welcome." It feels very good.

But, you know, what’s driving this is—you know, in some ways, this is the driving struggle on the internet right now between all of these different companies, to accumulate the biggest amounts of data on each of us. And Facebook has its strategy, which is basically ask people to tell Facebook about themselves. Google has its strategy, which is to watch your clicks. Microsoft and Yahoo! have their strategies. And all of this feeds into a database, which can then be used to do three things. It can target ads better, so you get better targeted ads, which honestly, I think, you know, sometimes is fine, if you know that it’s happening. It can target content, which I think is much more problematic. You start to get content that just reflects what it thinks you want to see. And then the third thing is, and it can make decisions about you.

So, one of the sort of more surprising findings in the book was that banks are beginning to look at people’s Facebook friends and their credit ratings in order to decide to whom to give—to offer credit. And this is based on this fact that, you know, if you look at the credit ratings of people, you can make predictions about the credit ratings of their friends. It’s very creepy, though, because really what you’re saying then is that it would be better not to be Facebook friends with people who have lower credit ratings. It’s not really the kind of society that we want to be building, particularly.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, even more frightening, obviously, is once all of this information, personal information, is gathered, it saves the government, in its ability to surveil its population, a lot of work, because basically the private companies can gather the information, and all the government has to do is issue the subpoena or make the call that "for national security, we need this information." So, in essence, it doesn’t have to do the actual surveillance. It just has to be able to use it when it needs to.

ELI PARISER: There’s a funny Onion article that has the headline "CIA Rules Out Very Successful New Facebook Program," implying that the CIA started Facebook to gather data. And it’s funny, but there is sort of some truth there, which is that these companies do have these massive databases, and the protections that we have for our data that live on these servers are far—you know, far less protection than if it’s on your home computer. The FBI needs to do much less paperwork in order to ask Google for your data than it does to, you know, come into your home and look at your computer. And so, increasingly—so this is sort of the downside of cloud computing, is that it allows more and more of our data and everything that we do to be available to the government and, you know, for their purposes.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And not only in a democracy, but in an authoritarian state, as well.

ELI PARISER: That’s right. I mean, it’s a natural byproduct of consolidating so much of what we do online in a few big companies that really don’t have a whole lot of accountability, you know, that aren’t being pushed very hard by governments to do this right or do it responsibly. It will naturally lead to abuses.

AMY GOODMAN: Google Inc. announced yesterday that they have launched a bid to dominate a world in which the smartphone replaces the wallet as the container for credit cards, coupons and receipts. The mobile app is called Google Wallet. How does this fit into this picture?

ELI PARISER: Well, it’s just another—I mean, the way that Google thinks is, how can we design products that people will use that allow us to accumulate even more data about them? So, obviously, once you start to have a sense of everything that people are buying flowing through Google’s servers, then you have way more data on which to target ads and target content and do this kind of personalization. You know exactly how to slice and dice people. And again, you know, in some contexts, that’s fine, actually. I don’t mind when I go on Amazon, and it recommends books. They’re obviously not very good recommendations sometimes, but it’s fine. But when it’s happening invisibly and when it’s shaping not just what you buy but what you know about the world, I think, you know, is more of a problem. And if this is going to be sort of the way that the future of the internet looks, then we need to make sure that it’s much more transparent when this is happening, so that we know when things are being targeted to us. And we have to make sure that we have some control as consumers over this, that it’s not just in the hands of these big companies that have very different interests.

AMY GOODMAN: So, you have a powerful force, Eli Pariser. You were the head of MoveOn.org. Now you’re what? The chair of the board—

ELI PARISER: I’m on the board, yeah.

AMY GOODMAN:—of MoveOn.org. So, this, MoveOn, has millions of people it reaches all over the country. What will MoveOn do about this?

ELI PARISER: Well, you know, there’s sort of this dance here, because basically MoveOn takes on the issues that its members want to take up. So I’ve been very—you know, I don’t want to sort of impose by fiat that I wrote a book, and here’s—now we’re going to campaign about this. But, you know, there are campaigns that we’re starting to look at. One of them, I think, that’s very simple but actually would go a significant way is just to, you know, have a basic—have a way of signaling on Facebook that something is important, even if it’s not likable. Obviously this is sort of just one small piece, but actually, if you did have an "important" button, you would start having a lot of different information propagating across Facebook. You’d have people exposed to things that maybe aren’t as smile-inducing, but we really need to know. And Facebook is actually considering adding some new verbs. So, this could be a winnable thing. It’s not—it won’t solve the whole problem, but it would start to indicate—it would start to remind these companies that there are ways that they can start to build in, you know, some more kind of civic values into what they’re doing.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And any sense that in Congress any of the politicians are paying attention to some of these issues?

AMY GOODMAN: Or understand this?

ELI PARISER: Yeah, there are a few that have been really attentive to this. Al Franken, in particular, has been very good on these data and privacy issues and really pushing forward. It’s obviously challenging because a lot of the Democratic congressmen and women are—get a lot of money from these companies, Silicon Valley. You know, certainly the Obama administration and Obama got a lot of support from Silicon Valley. So, they don’t totally want to get on the wrong side of these companies. And they feel like the companies are on the side of good and on the side of sort of pushing the world in the direction that they want it to. It means that we don’t have as good congressional watchdogs as you would hope, but there are a few good ones. And Franken, in particular, has been great on this.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Eli Pariser, I want to thank you for your work and for writing The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You, board president and former executive director of MoveOn.org, which at five million members is one of the largest citizens’ organizations in American politics. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. Back in a minute.

ELI PARISER: Thank you.

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Poster: splue Date: May 27, 2011 2:25pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Emergency Petition

i dont subscribe to the googlenet i heard they hurt ewoks :(

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Poster: splue Date: May 27, 2011 10:02pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Emergency Petition to Google: Don't be evil

"The top 50 websites collect an average of 64 bits of personal information each time we visit and then custom-designs their sites to conform to our perceived preferences."

>>no wondr im getting sites that look so fu(k3d up---LOL

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Poster: bluedevil Date: May 27, 2011 2:26pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Emergency Petition to Google: Don't be evil

privacy is so 20th century....

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Aug 18, 2011 8:41am
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Emergency Petition to Google & Verizon: Don't be evil

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by Juan Gonzalez - Wednesday, August 17th 2011, 4:00 AM

Verizon workers, management dig in for decisive labor battle 'This is no ordinary strike'

On the 10th day of the most important labor fight in America in years, striking Verizon worker Alexandra Camacho stood on a streetcorner in downtown Brooklyn and vowed to stay out as long as necessary.

"They want to strip from us everything we've won in the past," the slender Camacho said. "They even want to take away our Martin Luther King holiday. Well, that's not gonna happen."

Hundreds of Camacho's fellow workers from Verizon's Brooklyn call center walked the picket line behind her in red shirts. They chanted "No Contract, No Work" to the rhythmic beat of cowbells and drums.

Across the Eastern seaboard, 45,000 Verizon employees have hit the streets - at a time when labor strikes were supposed to be extinct.

Company officials say the unions must face reality.

"As consumers continue to cut the cord or choose competitors' wireline services, the company must make meaningful changes to its wireline cost structure," says one official Verizon response to the union.

But ask yourself: Why would so many workers risk their livelihood in the midst of a stubborn recession, with more than 9 million unemployed?

Because Verizon has left them no choice, the workers say.

This is a company, after all, that is swimming in cash.

In the first quarter of this year, Verizon tripled its profits compared with the previous year.

Since February, when it began its new deal with Apple to market the iPhone, the company has signed up an astounding 2.3 million new iPhone customers.

Yet despite Verizon's enormous success, the company has demanded unprecedented givebacks from the small portion of its 197,000 employees who are still unionized - about 45,000 who belong to the Communications Workers of America or the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Those union members are in the company's legacy land-line phone division or its fast-growing FiOS video service.

For decades, becoming a telephone company worker was a path into the middle class, even if you didn't have a big college education.

But now, union leaders say, the company's demands include:

• A freeze in all pensions for existing workers and eliminating them completely for new workers

• An increase in health insurance premiums

• Elimination of all job security provisions and any restrictions on outsourcing

• Reducing paid sick days

• Eliminating four vacation days, including King Day and Veterans Day

• Eliminating supplemental disability benefits

Darrell Gladden, a customer service rep for 23 years in Brooklyn, is worried Verizon wants to ship many of those jobs serving FiOS customers to the Philippines and India.

"They should keep those jobs right here in America," Gladden said.

Verizon spokesman John Bonomo declined to talk about specific demands.

"What we're looking for is the kind of freedom our competitors have," Bonomo said. "If there is a call center that is handling calls with long wait times, we want to be able to switch the customer to a center someplace else."

With its huge profits, Verizon paid chairman Ivan Seidenberg $18 million last year. It paid $7.1million to Lowell McAdam, the former wireless division head who succeeded Seidenberg on Aug. 1 as CEO.

Twice before, in 1989 and 2000, Seidenberg fought nasty strikes with the company's unions and failed to break them.

Verizon kept making huge profits nonetheless.

The new guy, McAdam, thinks he will do what Seidenberg couldn't. He thinks he can outlast Camacho and all the other strikers.

"There's tremendous anger in the country about all this corporate greed," CWA spokesman Bob Master said. "This could be the private sector's battle of Wisconsin."

This is a strike against a company that is doing very well. Verizon is literally swimming in cash. In the first quarter of this year, it tripled its profits, compared to the previous quarter, and it’s been consistently outperforming the stock market now for the past several years. And yet, even with such a profitable company, you have a situation where it is demanding unprecedented givebacks from its workers. And really, this means, if Verizon, such a profitable [company], can insist that its workforce has to do all of these cuts in their living standards, what does it mean about any other company in America?

Verizon is calling for things like freezing of the pensions of the existing workers and eliminating pensions for any new workers. They’re talking about payments—sharply increased payments into the health insurance premiums of the workers. That’s pretty much standard fare in America today, in corporate America. But it’s even doing things like insisting on eliminating all job security and having the right to contract out a lot of its work. It’s already beginning to do that in call centers, establishing outlets in India and in the Philippines to do some of that work that’s being done by American workers now. And it’s even asking the workers to give up a bunch of paid holidays, including Martin Luther King Day and Veterans Day. It’s really amazing. It’s a hodgepodge of all of these demands. And that’s why the workers have gone out. And they are vowing, the workers are vowing, of the CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, to keep this up as long as possible, because a company that is so profitable right now should not be insisting that its workers give up even more of the hard-fought gains they’ve had over the years.

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Poster: martyveldman Date: Aug 8, 2010 4:50pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Emergency Petition to Google: Don't be evil

See latest info below:
http://www.economist.com/node/21009345